Cosmetic Changes to Google Analytics

Posted on 17. Oct, 2011 by in Digital Marketing

The new version of Google Analytics has been live for a number of months now with a host of new features added at an impressive rate.  Just last week, Google launched a radical design update to the new interface in an attempt to improve user experience and interaction within the Analytics platform.

As regular users of GA will now be aware, it is still possible to switch between the old and new configurations at will, either of which can be set as default. Whilst this functionality may be appreciated since it allows users to increase their familiarity with V5 at their own pace, leaving the decision of which version to employ with the individual has arguably amplified division within the user community.

For some, the thought of learning how to use a new system is daunting so they choose instead to continue to utilise the old version. For others, the lure of new features such as real-time reporting and multi-channel funnels is enough to encourage them onto V5. Since its launch, V5 has been labelled a beta version and new features and tweaks continue to be tested.

In a further bid to convert those still using the old version, Google last week launched some tweaks to the new interface.

The most drastic of these is a new interface design. Google has cut things right back, leaving just a Home, Standard Reporting and Custom Reporting tab.

The Home tab offers standard metrics associated with your site, as well as any dashboards that have been setup.

The Standard Reporting tab will display all of the reports that you get as standard when you set up a Google Analytics account.

Custom reporting has also been given more emphasis in the new report setup, now getting its own tab in the UI. The Custom Reporting tab is where all of the custom reports set-up by the user can be accessed.

The most rewarding reports within Google Analytics require some degree of set up and maintenance. Depending on user role, goals, filters, custom segments and general profile settings can all now be set up and modified quickly using the cog tab on the far right of the screen to take you from any page to the settings page.

Navigation is also sped up by the new report search feature on the Standard Reporting tab. Simply enter the type of content you want to see, and a list of available reports will become available for you to select. These changes, though arguably small, do have a significant impact on user experience and ease of use when used regularly.

The Google Analytics interface has improved a lot in the last year, and Google have strived to make it a straightforward, functional platform that allows users to carry out analysis quickly and easily. In comparison to some of the other tools in the market, GA is streets ahead in terms of usability and data extraction efficiency.

What do you think of the new UI? What additions would you like to see Google offering? Have your say in perhaps shaping Google Analytics in the future by becoming part of the Google Analytics Usability Research here.

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